No industry is exempt from disruption. Today, the world is always-on, ever-connected and fast-changing. We’re beginning to see a clear shift away from the traditional means in which we’ve always conducted business. We’re evolving, and so is insurance.
South Africa Insurance Head at Wipro Limited, Jaqueline Van Eeden, says that there are traditionally four main aspects to the industry.
- Product design;
- Pricing and underwriting;
- Distribution and admin;
- Claims management.
This model has remained the same for decades, and has predominantly relied on income from policy premiums and asset management in order to function. Technology has changed that. It has changed the way that consumers think about risks and spend their money. As a result, insurers are now forced to change their model from one that has always been product-centric to one that is more customer-centric.
“Insurers are moving towards customised, usage based, real time coverage models and moving away from a risk-based underwriting approach to a risk management approach,” says Van Eeden. “Legacy interaction methods and distribution channels using call centres and one-on-one visits are being replaced as anywhere any-time response to customers is taking top priority. The ‘virtual technology’ is providing easier and instantaneous ways for clients and insurers to obtain and update information, even enabling seamless and accurate billing via mobile applications.”
So, we’re beginning to see trends emerge across the globe. Many of these are either tech-driven or tech-related, and they are enabling insurance companies to remain competitive and relevant. This could be an increase in the use of Internet of Things, the utilization of Big Data to improve claims processing, an increased demand for cyber insurance, a growing focus on mobile apps and interaction or the emergence of Peer-to-Peer insurance.
In the interest of longevity – technology simply has to be embraced.